Muhammad Ali was a champion at raising Parkinson’s Awareness
7 June 2016
Muhammad Ali was a champion at raising Parkinson’s Awareness.
Many New Zealanders remember Muhammad Ali as the greatest boxer of all time. But for people living with Parkinson’s he had an extra title of ‘Parkinson’s Champion’.
“Before Muhammad Ali the general public’s awareness of Parkinson’s was low” says Deirdre O’Sullivan Chief Executive of Parkinson’s New Zealand.
“He took the fight on Parkinson’s to the people and helped change the way we think about those living with Parkinson’s. He helped us understand the impact not just on his life but also how it affected his family and wider support group.
“Muhammad Ali showed people that with the right mental attitude and treatment you can live well with Parkinson’s. He brought the fight against Parkinson’s to the forefront and that gave hope to the 10,000 plus kiwis living with Parkinson’s, their families and carers”.
In 2005 his daughter Rasheda Ali came to New Zealand. He gave her a message for New Zealanders living with Parkinson’s. “Never lose faith and never stop living each day to the fullest extent possible. I wish all who find themselves part of this courageous battle, much luck and I send them my gratitude and love”.
Rasheda was in New Zealand working with Parkinson’s New Zealand to help promote Parkinson’s Awareness and her book I’ll hold your hand so you won’t fall – a child’s guide to Parkinson’s disease.
Muhammad Ali was selfless in his community service and this legacy will live on. He helped establish the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix that has raised millions towards Parkinson’s research.
We would like to thank Muhammad Ali for sharing his courageous battle with the world and helping us raise awareness and money to continue fighting this brutal condition.
You can make a donation on the Parkinson’s NZ website www.parkinsons.org.nz